Commencement 2019

News Briefs


Virginia Wesleyan College will celebrate its first-ever Founders Day on Thursday, September 8. A Founders Day Convocation will take place at 11 a.m. in the Convocation Center inside the Jane P. Batten Student Center. The community is invited to watch live as the event is webcast at: Trustee Emeritus George Birdsong will serve as keynote speaker. Birdsong is CEO and General Counsel for the Birdsong Corporation, the largest peanut sheller in the U.S., based in Suffolk, Virginia. He joined the Virginia Wesleyan College Board of Trustees in 1989 and served as Board Chair from 2007-2010. He and his wife, Sue, trace their connections with the College back to the groundbreaking for Bray Village (Village I) on July 18, 1965. During the event, the College will present honorary doctoral degrees to Dr. Stephen S. Mansfield, College Archivist and former Dean of the College, and Gary D. Bonnewell ’79, the first VWC graduate to serve as Chair of the Board of Trustees. Bonnewell will also be recognized with the dedication of a classroom in the Floyd E. Kellam, Jr. Social Science Lab in the Village II complex. The 2016 Alumni Awards recipients will also be celebrated as part of the festivities. Honorees include Lindsey E. Reynolds ’98 (Distinguished Alumna Award), Amy Mallett Rickard ’98 (Alumni Service Award) and Rodney D. Young Jr. ’07 (Graduate of the Last Decade Award). Virginia Wesleyan College was chartered in 1961 and first opened its doors to students on September 14, 1966. According to Lori McCarel, Executive Director of Annual Giving and Alumni Relations, the idea for a Founders Day originated last year when Dr. Scott D. Miller, President of Virginia Wesleyan, appointed a committee of faculty, staff and alumni to “celebrate our past and formulate plans that would create an annual tradition.” More